Midmar’s low water level, big cause for concern

2015-10-15 06:00
The water level at Midmar Dam has dropped to around 55%.PHOTOS: 

The water level at Midmar Dam has dropped to around 55%.PHOTOS: IAN CARBUTT

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WITH little hope of rain during KZN’s driest year in a century, the water levels at Midmar Dam are becoming a cause for concern.

Water levels are sitting at around 55% as of Monday, a below-average reading for the dam. Umgeni Water spokesperson Shami Harichunder said on Monday that Umgeni Water would be discussing ways to remedy the situation.

“The level of Midmar has fallen below its normal level and this is due to the insufficient rainfall. We now ask the public to voluntarily use water sparingly. If the rain does not come, we could be heading for difficult times,” he said.

In 1983, KwaZulu-Natal was hit by a drought and Midmar Dam was only 43% full for the swimming of the Midmar Mile that year.

With most dam levels across the province at a low, the heat wave expected across the country during the week is bad news.

KZN’s already dry conditions can be expected to continue on Tuesday, with temperatures in Pietermaritzburg, Mooi River, Newcastle and Ulundi well into the thirties. On Monday Ladysmith experienced a high temperature of 40°C, while other parts of the province are experiencing similar conditions.

The South African Weather Service has sent out an alert for Tuesday saying “extremely high fire danger conditions were expected over western and northern parts of KZN”.

Nqobile Madonda, acting Msunduzi spokesperson said: “We are monitoring the situation closely with Umgeni and we will communicate should water restrictions need to be implemented.

“However, we urge all residents to be cautious and use water sparingly.”

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